skip to Main Content
  • Then click the categories you would like to search:

The Doctor’s Visit – Elisabeth Geertruida Wassenbergh 1760

Elisabeth Geertruida Wassenbergh  ( 1729  -1781 )

Detail: doctor, medicine, chair, table, brazier, foot warmer, cat,  spoon, medicine bottle, paintings, boy, bow, arrow, tricorn hat, maid, door, tea set

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. For the painting’s origins, see Jan Steen’s “Doctor’s “Visit” of 1658-62. The painting’s subject was a popular genre scene in the mid-17th C.: the inabilities of vaunted doctors to diagnose the love-sickness or pregnancies of young women. Thus the boy with arrows is note a cat-torturing truant, but a symbol for Cupid. Steen’s work is a delightful mess of symbolic depictions of Dutch “common wisdom” sayings. Look into Dutch emblem books to see how images and sayings were combined with poems that would further explain the wisdom-sayings

  2. Interesting. I noticed the painting of the lovers on the wall. There is a large painting over the door. The lady by the door is wearing black; not sure if this was the custom back then for widows to wear all black, but I do know it was the custom in Victorian days. She is also pointing out the child’s bad behavior. The painting over the door appears to be of a harbor and ships. Perhaps the patient is missing a loved one who was sent out to sea; husband or a son. Who knows.
    On the other hand, the patient has gray hair, so this is not a young lady and, for an ill person, she is wearing bright happy colors. Should this be a love sick illness, and the child a cupid, then perhaps this is a trick by the patient, who may be considered a “spinster”, to woo the doctor for his affections. After all, the “cupid” is hitting the doctor’s hat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top